Electronic medical records and doctor/patient communication
View from the US: When I talk to family members or friends who are physicians these days, I hear a lot of complaints.
What seems to get US doctors I talk to most agitated is an aspect of Obamacare that gets relatively little attention outside the healthcare community: the “forced” conversion of medical practices to electronic medical records (EMR).Under legislation signed in 2009, physicians were given a January 2015 deadline to convert to EMR and show “meaningful use” of these systems or face lower reimbursement rates on Medicare physician fees – a penalty of 1 percent of Medicare payments, increasing to 2 percent in 2016 and 3 percent in 2017. To help offset the cost of EMR conversion, the federal government is offering individual practitioners up to $44,000 in incentive payments under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. With both a carrot and a stick in place, physician practices, large and small, have been converting en masse.
Statistics and bikinis – 2 men united
I want to write today about 2 men that between them have reminded me of a fine line that we have to tread every time we analyse a dataset...
The first is Professor Aaron Levenstein. In truth there’s not too much to say about him, he was associate professor emeritus at Baruch College. He taught there for a grand total of 20 years, so I imagine that there are a lot of alumni of the college who have fond memories of him, if you happen to be reading this piece then let me know I’d like to hear what he was like as a man. His most widely published book is the well respected title “Escape to Freedom: The Story of the International Rescue Committee”. It’s a chronicle of some very dark times in the world’s history and yet it focusses on a positive outcome that is the IRC and the work it has done since its inception during WWII. I’m not about to review the book, there are plenty of other people who have done that. What has struck me is how he is remembered for a simple catchphrase, probably meant as a throwaway line, although it does emphasise a lot of the challenges we face when writing reports and interpreting research data.
Eliminating Stigma: A consideration of the role the pharmaceutical industry can play
My recent article in Medical Marketing & Media explored the importance of vaccine perceptions in a self-pay market and touched upon the issue of stigma, with the recognition that some diseases or conditions are so taboo in society that for physicians to merely suggest the idea of vaccination to their patients is to risk casting aspersions on their lifestyle. In this blog , I aim to take a more in-depth look at what stigma means in the context of healthcare and consider the opportunities and challenges for pharma.
As specialists in healthcare, stigma is something we frequently encounter across many of the disease areas in which we work. This is most evident when we are conducting research directly with patients and particularly in the emerging markets, which is my team’s focus. From sexually transmitted diseases to mental illness, shame may be associated with their condition and is a devastating reality for many of the patients we seek to understand.
One thing that grasps my interest is how society has adopted military style language when talking about cancer
Treatments are described as “defending” or “protecting” whilst cancer patients themselves are “fighters” who “battle” to “beat” the disease. These abstract metaphors of war are used in an attempt to articulate that cancer is a very emotional experience for all involved.
This terminology is intriguing to me, as whilst widely recognised as persuasive, it is also considered controversial. War-like analogies suggest that there will be a “winner”, “loser”, and a “battlefield”. Sadly there are hundreds of types of cancer, and short of resection, there is no definitive cure for any of them. I have to ask myself, how do progressed metastatic patients feel anything other than failure when we talk about the disease in this way?
Is MINT the next BRIC?
In 2001, British economist Jim O’Neill coined the now ubiquitous acronym ‘BRIC’, to stand for the four emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China, which he suggested were all poised for massive economic growth. Earlier this year, O’Neill came out of retirement to generate buzz about ‘MINT’ – that’s Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey to the uninitiated – as the next generation ‘ones to watch’ in the coming twenty years.
So what does this mean to the healthcare market and to us as market researchers? With almost 40% of studies conducted by Research Partnership last year having included at least one emerging market, we are well aware that growing economies often translate to growing spend on healthcare and pharmaceuticals – and therefore increasing interest from our clients.